Every year, the Super Bowl amasses millions of viewers and is notoriously one of the top-watched programs of the year. While most people watch for the much-anticipated game, others may tune in for the creative and memorable commercials. Even though most ads are only 30-60 seconds in length, according to Forbes, the average cost is around $7 million. Just like any type of media, some ads gain more recognition and appreciation compared to others that may fall short. Here are some of my favorite and least favorite ads of Super Bowl LVII.
He Gets Us – “Love Your Enemies”
The organization He Gets Us is a non-denominational and politically independent and unaligned group that works to promote unity and increase relevance surrounding the teachings of Jesus. During the Super Bowl, they spent a substantial amount of funding on running two message-driven commercials. While of course, the central theme of these advertisements is related to Jesus, the content can be applied to different areas of life.
My favorite commercial produced by He Gets Us was entitled “Love Your Enemies”. The commercial consists of various black-and-white still images of neighbors and protesters who are clashing. The background music that accompanies the emotive images is “Human” by Rag’n’Bone Man. The combination of the lyrics and poignant visuals creates an advertisement that addresses the current societal issue of the widespread political divide while providing an ideal solution and message of unity.
Netflix and General Motors – “Why not an EV?”
The next commercial that I enjoyed is not as touching as a piece but is very inventive. The advertisement is actually a partnership between Netflix and General Motors. The star of the production is Will Ferrell, and the commercial depicts him as he transitions between different worlds of Netflix. As he narrates and discusses how Netflix will be including more electrical vehicles in their future series, viewers watch him enter different shows such as “Squid Games,” “Bridgerton” and “Stranger Things”. The commercial was very engaging since it included so many well-loved shows which is why I thought it was effective.
Disney – “100 Special Look”
Over the last 100 years, Disney has been a renowned powerhouse, contributing dozens of celebrated films and attractions. Their Super Bowl commercial commemorates this legacy of storytelling through the inclusion of clips from films such as “Mary Poppins,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Avatar”. The commercial also includes endearing clips of present-day children dressing up as their favorite characters. One aspect of the tribute that I loved was how it blended older Disney films such as “Mary Poppins” with newer ones such as the upcoming “Little Mermaid” movie.
The Farmers Dog – “Forever”
This charming and heartwarming advertisement for the dog food company detailed the life and connection between a chocolate lab and its owner. The piece opens with the main character as a young girl and follows her all the way until she has her own family and children. Lively shots are shown of the pair playing at the beach, with the dog running in the sand. The commercial is a beautiful reminder of the strong bond between a dog and its person.
Least Favorite Commercials:
Hellmann’s US – “Who’s in the Fridge”
This commercial stars Jon Hamm and Brie Larson and opens with the two placed in a refrigerator since their namesakes are food-related (Ham and Brie). I didn’t love this commercial because of how predictable and corny it was. While the association between the stars’ names and culinary items was original, I thought the rest of the ad was pretty cliche. Pete Davidson even made a cameo, but his performance was pretty lackluster considering he made some trite comment about how he was going to “eat them”.
Doritos – “Jacks New Angle”
While I am a Jack Harlow fan, I found the Doritos commercial he starred in to be mediocre. It was no fault of his that the storyline didn’t astound me. I did appreciate the star-studded cast composed of Harlow, Missy Elliot and Elton John. The premise of the story is that Harlow abandons rapping in exchange for becoming a triangle player. His stardom allowed him to popularize triangle playing across the country. He ultimately ends up losing at an award show to Elton John for triangle player of the year. The ad did not actually include much promotion or talk about Doritos, besides intentional product placement. It could be said that there is symbolism (loose) between the shape of Doritos and the triangle instrument. Compared to some of the other advertisements, I thought this one was lacking in substance and distinctiveness.
Avocados from Mexico – “Make It Better”
Another one of my least favorite commercials was the Avocados from Mexico one. This company is one that regularly runs programming during the Super Bowl. So it was no surprise to see them included. The commercial stars Anna Faris as Eve and includes a reconceptualized story of Adam and Eve. Eve admits to eating a forbidden fruit, and then receives an avocado as an antidote to the mistake. The commercial then moves to show present-day Manhattan and inserts avocado-themed branding all across the city. I found the ad to be somewhat gimmicky, and not very humorous.
Regardless of whether or not I enjoyed every commercial shown, there is no denying the incredible amount of effort that is poured into conceiving, producing and editing each advertisement. I greatly admire the originality, cinematography and stardom that each piece brings forth.